Article By: Chris Callen
Originally Published In The August 2011 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
As summer 2011 rolls into full swing, plans are in motion for the second Hoka Hey Challenge. I fondly recall all of the buzz that took place this time last year here at Cycle Source home base as Chris Callen, Geno Stull, and Rob Keller made their mental, physical, and tactical preparations for the inaugural Hoka Hey Challenge, which began June 20th, 2010. Although I did not ride in last year’s challenge, covering the event on the Cycle Source blog was one of the most exciting times I’ve ever experienced. Keeping in touch with them over the phone and tracking their movements via satellite uplink, made it possible for me to participate in a very real way that a Article By: Curt Miller previously, I would have never guessed possible. Likewise, the conversations with our riders and the photos I’ve seen from last year’s challenge have brought me to understand that regardless of who collected the cash in Homer, AK, everyone on that ride was a winner. These riders came home having been pushed to their limits. Along the way, they saw beauty in the North American continent that cannot be explained, made friendships that will last the rest of their lives, developed a new respect for the incredible machines that continued to soak up mile after mile, contended with nature each and every moment, and felt the unexpected impact of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.
In order for me to do an adequate job of following this challenge, it took more than just phone calls from the riders as they traveled the 9500+ mile route. One of the key tools to my work back home was made possible by the satellite tracking devices on Chris’s and Rob’s bikes provided by Find It Now USA, LLC (FIN). While the FIN devices are primarily designed as powersport security systems, their effectiveness and the support staff that stand behind them are outstanding and their uses are seemingly endless. During the Hoka Hey, I had the opportunity to really try out some of the advanced features of the FIN anti-theft device, some of which include: email and text messaging capabilities, which automatically send users emails or text messages when any of a variety of events happen. These included when a device-connected vehicle stops or starts moving, when battery power to the vehicle is disrupted, when battery power to the device is interrupted, and more. Also, regardless of whether end-users choose to receive email or text message notices as per the myriad amount of information that’s available from the tracking device, all this information is stored by FIN and accessible at the users convenience via the FIN website and the users’ private account. In addition to the information described above, the FIN website provides users with detailed maps pinpointing where and when each of the recorded events occurred.
As well as having a unique product, specifically designed for the powersport industry, the support staff at FIN is easy to reach and very helpful. Throughout the ride, I was in regular contact with Mike Hammond from FIN, and regardless of what information I required, be it complete device histories in Microsoft Excel file format, or a better understanding of how to access the advanced features of the tracking system, Mike was available, even when I called one Sunday evening! Thanks again, Mike! So, as this year’s challengers get prepared to face the ride of a lifetime that is the Hoka Hey, it is my sincere hope that all will come back safe and with the incredible memories and sense of wonder that Hoka Hey team Cycle Source did last year. As well, anyone looking to follow along with the ride, or keep track of their loved ones out on the road, in the dirt, or on the water, or even those who just want the best solution for keeping track of their favorite powersport toy should give Find It Now USA a serious look. You won’t be disappointed!